Scientific Lead & Team

Scientific Board

Günter Bentele is an emeritus professor of Public Relations at the Institute of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Leipzig. Prior to earning his Ph.D. and habilitation at the Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin), he studied German literature, linguistics, communication and media studies and political science in Munich and Berlin. At the moment, he researches and publishes on history of PR, ethics and trust. He actively participates in numerous committees, including the German Council for Public Relations.


Sabine Einwiller is the professor of Public Relation Research at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna. Previously, she was a professor at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, where she established and led the master's program in corporate communication and PR. She received her PhD and qualified as a Professor (habilitation) at the University of St. Gallen, after having worked for a few years in the Public Relations Department at BASF. Sabine Einwiller’s research in the area of corporate comunication focuses on employee communication, crisis communication and complaint management.

  • Contact


Phone: +43 (1) 4277-493 19
Mail: sabine.einwiller@univie.ac.at


Claudia Mast is Professor and Head of the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim. In 2015, the communication scientist was selected as "professor of the year". Her main research focus are innovations in Corporate Communications, strategic communications and topic management, as well as business jounalism and Corporate Publishing. She was Senior Executive at Siemens AG in Munich and she published numerous textbooks on journalism, communication management and business journalism. She actively participates in numerous committees, including the Board of Directors of Deutsche Welle in Bonn.

  • Contact


Phone: +49-711-45922639
Mail: sekrkowi@uni-hohenheim.de


Ulrike Röttger is Professor of Public Relations at the Department of Communication at the University of Münster, Germany. She studied journalism at the University of Dortmund and earned her Ph.D. at the University of Zurich. She trained as a systemic organizational consultant at the Scientific Institute of Consulting and Communication (WIBK) in Paderborn. Ulrike Röttger has workedas an appraiser, lecturer and consultant for companies and non-profit organizations for more than 15 years.

  • Contact

Phone: +49-251-8321243
Mail: ulrike.roettger@uni-muenster.de


Stefan Stieglitz is Professor and head of the research group for Professional Communication in Electronic Media /Social Media at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Furthermore, he is director of the Competence Center Connected Organization which aims at intensifying the knowledge transfer between research and the business world. Previously he hold a position as an assistant professor at University of Münster at the department of information systems. His work focuses on the impact of social media on companies and society. He investigates and develops applications and methods of social media analytics in order to realize empirical research in domains such as marketing, internal corporate communication, and crisis communication.

  • Contact

Phone: +49 203 379 1341
Mail: stefan.stieglitz@uni-due.de


Ansgar Zerfass is Professor and Chair in Strategic Communication at the Institute of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany. He is also Professor in Communication and Leadership at BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, and, inter alia, Plank Scholar at The Plank Center for Leadership and Communication at the University of Alabama, USA. The habilitated communication scientists with a PhD in Business Administration worked ten years within Corporate Communications in business practice. He published a lot of books focused on Corporate Communications, Measurement and Evaluation and International Communication.

  • Contact

Phone: +49-341-9735040
Mail: zerfass@uni-leipzig.de

Scientific team

Florian Brachten, M.Sc. is a research associate at the chair for Professional Communication in Electronic Media / Social Media at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Since January 2018 he works on the research project about the use of Social Bots in Corporate Communications. He studied Applied Communication and Media Science (B.Sc.) as well as Applied Cognitive and Media Science (M.Sc.) at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Before joining the chair of Professor Stefan Stieglitz, he was working as Junior Digital Consultant at an advertising agency. In course of his PhD-studies his work focuses on the effects of automated communication in social media.

  • Contact

Phone: +49 203 379 2450

Mail: florian.brachten@uni-due.de


Dr. Lisa Dühring is responsible for the research project ”Corporate Communications in agile organisations“. The study will analyze the cross-departmental cooperation between corporate communications and other departments such as HR, IT, Strategy, as well as other business units and international branches. It also pays attention to interdisciplinary ways of working and a cross-divisional set-up of the communication department and focus on the possible design and management of these interfaces. The project will take into account different factors of influence like organizational structures, corporate culture etc. Lisa Dühring graduated from Leipzig University with a PhD on the relationship between marketing and PR research. Before she has been a research assistant to Prof. Ansgar Zerfass from 2008 to 2014 and was involved in multiple national and international research projects as well as teaching master courses in the Communication Management program.

  • Contact

Phone: +49-341-9735065

Mail: duehring@akademische-gesellschaft.com


Dr. Jens Seiffert-Brockmann is a post-doctoral researcher with the Corporate Communication Research Group in the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna. He received his doctorate in Communication Science in 2014 from the University of Leipzig. He also holds a Magister Artium in Communication Science and Political Science from his studies at the University of Leipzig. He has spent abroad study semesters at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, and George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, United States. His research is focused on evolutionary psychology in strategic communication, the impact of digital communication and their procedures on users and their instrumentalization by organizations. His special focus is on gamification and memes in organizational communication. Last but not least, theory in public relations and strategic communication is at the center of his interest, too. He has published numerous articles and chapters on these issues, as well as further papers on other branches of the academic field of public relations. Jens Seiffert-Brockmann is reviewer for the respective international academic journals in the field of rublic relations and communication science and is a member of the International Communication Association (ICA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK – German Association for Communication Science).

  • Contact

Phone: +43-1-4277-48313
Mail: jens.seiffert@univie.ac.at


Sophia Charlotte Volk (M.A.) is research associate at the Department of Strategic Communication at the University of Leipzig and has been involved in the research project Value Creating Communication since January 2015 with a particular focus on systematically consolidating the existing body of knowledge as well as conducting the empirical study. During her studies, she worked as a research assistant in a range of research projects, for instance the European Communication Monitor. She studied communication science and communication management at the Universities of Münster, Zürich, Leipzig and Ohio. In her dissertation project she is currently researching the role of strategic communication in international organizations. Her research interests include cross-cultural and international communication, strategy alignment and evaluation/measurement.

  • Contact

Phone: +49-341-9735045

Mail: sophia-charlotte.volk@uni-leipzig.de


Dr. Christian Wiencierz is a research assistant at the Department of Communication (IfK) at the University of Münster. Following a vocational traineeship in the field of audiovisual media he worked as a management assistant on several TV productions. He studied communication studies at the Department of Communication in Münster and completed his Ph.D. within the Research Training Group on the topic of Trust and communication in a digitized world. His research interests include trust research, word of mouth, organizational communication and campaign communication.

  • Contact

Phone: +49-251-8323014
Mail: christian.wiencierz@uni-muenster.de

Administration & Communication

Karen Berger is responsible for internal and external communications as well as the relationship management of the Academic Society. Furthermore she is project leader of the research program Value Creating Communiction. Karen Berger studied communication and media, business administration and sociology at the University of Leipzig and the University of Valencia, specializing in public relations and marketing. From 2007 to 2014 she worked for Siemens Corporate Communications in Munich and Bangkok. She was responsible for projects in the area of issues management and thought leadership. 

  • Contact

Phone: +49-341-9735052
Mail: berger@akademische-gesellschaft.com


Katrin Witthoff has worked for the Academic Society since 2010 and is currently responsible for the areas of organization, administration and finance. Further responsibilities: Preparation of the Leadership Forum, Hermes Dinner, relationship management with the Society’s corporate partners and point of contact to the Deutsches Stiftungszentrum. (German Foundations Centre). She studied administrative sciences in Hamburg and worked afterwards in the field of port development, foreign trade and delegations for Hamburg’s senator for Economic Affairs. Subsequently Katrin Witthoff gained experience abroad in the German-Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Mexico City and at Krones Nordic in Copenhagen.

  • Contact

Phone: +49-341-9735050
Mail: witthoff@akademische-gesellschaft.com

Board of Trustees Guenter-Thiele-Foundation

  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Schuppener (Chairman)
  • Prof. Dr. Werner Suess (Deputy Chairman)
  • Prof. Dr. Guenter Bentele, University of Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Lenk, University of Leipzig
  • Erich Steinsdoerfer, Association of German Science Foundations
  • Prof. Dr. Ansgar Zerfass, University of Leipzig

 

Honorary Chairman of the Foundation:

  • Dr. h.c. Guenter F. Thiele